Highlights of the recalibrated 2016 budget speech

Highlights of the recalibrated 2016 budget speech

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28  — Following are the highlights of the special address by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the recalibration and restructuring of 2016 Budget presented at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre Thursday.

* Government to revise 2016 GDP growth projection to between 4 per cent and 4.5 per cent to reflect its new assumption of Brent crude oil price of US$30-35 a barrel;

* Government committed to achieving fiscal deficit target of 3.1% to GDP in 2016;

* National debt level will continue to be reduced and will not exceed the prudent level of 55 per cent to GDP;

* Government will neither impose capital control nor peg the ringgit;

* Monetary policy and interest rate will be maintained at a level that supports domestic economic activity;

* Government remains committed to achieving the targeted private investment totalling RM215 billion this year;

* Implementation of major projects such as MRT and LRT, Pan-Borneo Highway, Malaysian Vision Valley, Cyber City Centre, RAPID Pengerang and High-Speed Rail will continue;

* To penetrate international markets, MATRADE and SME Corp will intensify the mid-tier and Go-Export programmes;

* To enhance the credit guarantee facility for trade, EXIM Bank will increase funds for financing by RM500 million;

* Compulsory Employee Provident Fund contribution by employees to be reduced by 3% from March 2016 to December 2017. Employers’ contribution remains;

* Special tax relief of RM2,000 for those earning RM8,000 per month or less in the 2015 assessment year;

* All new houses costing RM300,000 and below can only be sold to first-time house buyers;

* Continuation of housing loans at four per cent interest for 10,000 house buyers who are buying homes costing RM35,000 and less;

* No visa needed for tourists from China from March 1-Dec 31 for visits no longer than 15 days, subject to conditions;

* RM6 billion allocated to assist small medium enterprises and start-ups; Government-linked companies to reduce salary gap between top management and workers;

* Good and Services Tax to remain at prevailing rate of 6%;

* Government to continue with implementation of one annual increment for civil servants on 1 July 2016, as promised in 2016 Budget;

* These prudent measures are expected to save RM9 billion in operating expenditure and development expenditure.

— BERNAMA

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